If Santa left a copy of the latest Call of Duty game under the tree this year, that gift is supporting jobs right here in Australia. Call of Duty: Vanguard was developed by Sledgehammer Games, with its Melbourne studio employing more than 150 people and growing.
These high‑skilled, well‑paid jobs are a gift that keeps on giving. Australia is fast becoming a premier place to create digital content. It's not just fun and games, it means vital jobs and skills to lock in our post pandemic recovery.
So if, like me, you have a teenager who would rather rack up a few CoD kill streaks than read a book, don't despair ‑ there is an exciting career path for them.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Industry Snapshot for 2020‑21 reported the remarkable growth of this sector in the Australian economy, with $226.5m in income generated (up 23 per cent on the year before) and a 7 per cent growth in the number of Australians employed in the sector. And, most exciting of all, 64 per cent of studios reported their intention to employ new staff next year.
Not only are these jobs terrific for Australians, but the skills they develop flow through to other areas of the economy. A vibrant games industry creates jobs and skills for the whole country.
It's no surprise there's huge competition. Globally, the market is worth around $250bn ‑ Australia deserves a bigger slice of the pie. So that in future Santa has even more Australian‑developed games to put under the tree, the Morrison government is putting in place a world leading Digital Games Tax Offset, encouraging game development studios to grow and invest here at home.
The states have jumped in too, with incentives in Victoria, NSW, SA and Queensland all put in place over the past two years.
The Morrison government is determined to grasp the nettle on digitisation. It means better jobs and benefits of up to $315bn over the next decade and the potential to create 250,000 jobs by 2025. There are already more programmers in Australia than secondary school teachers ‑ and more jobs are coming thick and fast.
Companies like Canva and Afterpay show that Australia is already punching above its weight globally in delivering jobs and growth in our digital economy. And producing worldwide AAA video games is another feather in our cap.
So remember, Santa and Santa assistants when planning next year's gift run, a few hours on the X‑Box playing CoD is supporting Aussie jobs.